acme bass

Shootout B-1 EA

Hey folks,

I finally did it. I got ahold of the two bass cabinets that have been
the center of many discussions among working bass players: the Acme
Sound Ltd. Low B-1 and the Euphonic Audio VL-110. This is my attempt at
an unbiased review.

I tested them both using an SWR SM-500 which had more than enough power
to give both speakers a workout. Note: They both are very power hungry.
You will want more power than they are rated at to get maximum
performance. I used two basses: a Warrior Studio 6-string fretless and
a 1993 USA Fender Precision.

Features: The two cabinets are very similar in size, power handling,
frequency response and design. They both are 3-way system consisting of
a 10" woofer, a 5" midrange and a tweeter. Overall, this is a very fair
A/B test. The Acme is rated at 175 watts RMS while the EA is rated at
250. They both have heavy duty attenuators for the mid and tweeter. The
EA has 1/4" and banana inputs while the Acme has 1/4", banana & Speakon
jacks. It's nice to have more than one type of plug, don't you agree?

Construction: These are both very heavy duty boxes with no expense
spared. Heavy duty plywood, steel grills and all metal input plates
make these road ready and durable. The Acme has a single "Fender" style
handle on the side which is also where the port is located. They do
this so you won't stack things that will cover up the port; very smart!
The EA is a sealed enclosure and has spring loaded handles on the each
side and one on the bottom that you can use to prop the speaker at an
angle while you play. Applause goes out to both companies.

Sound: It is strange to hear so much volume coming from such small
speakers. Even more strange is that there was no audible difference in
volume between the two. They both sound so similar that it's like they
were made from the same stuff. Both of the woofers have a huge amount
of travel and don't break up even on the lowest notes. The Acme does,
however, have a much deeper sound. The low notes sound like they are
coming from an 18" speaker and literally shake the walls. Don't get me
wrong, the EA still does have a nice tight low end response, but it's a
non-ported enclosure; translation - less low end. The true gem of both
cabs is the 3-way design and the addition of the midrange speaker. This
allows the manufacturer to use a TRUE bass speaker (a long throw, power
hungry monster), taking away any need for the woofer to handle the mids
like many other 2-way speaker designs. Both enclosures have a singing
midrange and very subtle highs. Slaps and pops are smooth and punchy,
finger style runs are clear and even. With both boxes I got a dry,
accurate sound no matter what bass or EQ setting I used. If you are
used to a speaker that really colors your sound like Trace Elliott or
Peavey, these may really surprise you. Your bass sounds like your true
bass, which you may have never heard before. Both have a very flat
response. I didn't notice any peaks in mids that are so common with
other bass cabinets I've played. They are both amazing enclosures that
bely their small footprints.

Sum it up: Wow! Two great speakers. They are both ruggedly built, sweet
sounding and very compact. I suppose I have to choose one as the
winner, don't I? In my humble opinion, I like Acme better due to the
extra depth, but the EA is just as loud and smooth. I guess you'll need
to try them both and make your own decision. Euphonic Audio goes
through retailers nation wide and Acme deals direct with a 10 day trial
period. Good luck and God Bless.


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